By MM Desk
At least 49 people have been killed and another 20 seriously injured in shooting at two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand.
Witnesses described seeing bodies and “blood everywhere” following the attack at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch at about 1.45pm.
Police have arrested an Australian citizen and another three people, following a second shooting at another mosque in the Christchurch suburbs.
Videos and documents posted online appear to suggest that the shooter live-streamed his attack on Facebook and prepared an anti-immigrant “manifesto” prior to the shooting.
It remains unclear how many shooters were involved in the attack. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has raised New Zealand’s national security threat level from low to high.
Indonesia’s ambassador to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya, told Reuters six Indonesians had been inside one of the mosques when the attack occurred, with three managing to escape and three unaccounted for.
– Afghanistan’s ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, Wahidullah Waissi, said on Twitter three Afghans had been wounded.
– Two Malaysians were wounded in the attack, its foreign ministry said.
We will bring you further details on the dead and injured as they are released by the authorMore from police commissioner Mike Bush, who was speaking a little earlier.
Asked about reports that a shooter was wearing explosives, he said: “I am aware of that commentary. What I can say is that person may have suggested that. We have eliminated that as a possibility: there was not.
“We have also talked about IED devices on two vehicles. I would like to clarify that and say that there were possibly two IEDs on one vehicle, and we have disabled one, and we are in the process of disabling the other with the assistance of the defence force.”
Mr Bush told reporters the attack was a “very well-planned event”.
Asked if the police were searching for any other suspects, he said: “We never assume that there aren’t other people involved, that’s why we’ve got an immense presence out there … but we don’t have named or identified people that we are looking for, but it would be wrong to assume that there is no-one else.”
He added: “At this point we are not actively looking for any identified persons.”